Kathleen LeBesco


Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Professor of Communication and Media Arts


Office of the President






Dr. Katie LeBesco, Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Professor of Communication and Media Arts, serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet.

She has taken on various roles at MMC over 25+ years. For the 2021-22 academic year, Dr. LeBesco served as Interim Vice President for Student Success and Engagement. Previously, Dr. LeBesco served as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, as well as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and provided interim leadership to the Office of Institutional Advancement. She has co-chaired two strategic plans, and led the Presidential Task Force to Restart MMC in the early months of the COVID pandemic.

Dr. LeBesco joined the MMC faculty in the department of Communication Arts in 1998, serving as chair from 2005-2010, and was named Distinguished Chair in 2009. She was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award by the faculty, and named Outstanding Faculty by several graduating classes.

Dr. LeBesco’s books include The Bloomsbury Handbook of Food and Popular Culture (Bloomsbury, 2017), Culinary Capital (Berg Press, 2012), Edible Ideologies: Representing Food and Meaning (SUNY Press, 2008), Revolting Bodies? The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity (UMass Press, 2004), The Drag King Anthology (Harrington Park Press, 2003), and Bodies Out of Bounds: Fatness and Transgression (UCalifornia Press, 2001). In addition, Dr. LeBesco has authored more than thirty scholarly journal articles and book chapters in edited collections. Her newest book, Eating in US National Parks: Cosmopolitan Taste and Food Tourism, is forthcoming from Routledge in 2024.

Dr. LeBesco earned a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as B.A. and M.A. degrees in Communication and Rhetoric from The State University of New York at Albany.